The best exercises for losing weight -- a never ending argument. The controversy is caused by our different goals, expectations, age, sex, lifestyle, calorie requirements, environment and level of physical activity. What is good for one may not be good for another.
The best exercises are different for a middle age woman living in New York City and a 19 year old farm boy from Iowa.
I worked face to face with people losing weight for almost three decades. Most hated any form of exercise. What I heard most was: It hurts; I’m embarrassed; I feel like I’m being punished; No time.
And the clincher -- “I ‘dunno.”
I cannot think of one exercise program that will work if you don’t do it.
When you evaluate exercises, your primary consideration should be WILL YOU DO IT? Realistically, if it’s hard, difficult, not enjoyable -- or worse -- leaves you sore, miserable and in pain, YOU WON’T DO IT. Exercises are wide and varied. Take my advice, select one that is fun and enjoyable. One that you will do.
1. Stretching - Low impact, lengthens muscles, increases flexibility and range of movement. Recommended before beginning a more strenuous activity and may prevent injury. Yoga, Pilates and simple stretching techniques.
2. Aerobic - One of the most popular exercises for losing weight. Entire weight loss exercise programs have been developed around aerobics. From low to high impact, it’s multi-purpose and can be used by almost anyone. Based on the concept of raising and sustaining heart rate for a specific amount of time. Aerobics strengthens the cardiovascular system and can improve metabolic efficiency. Swimming, tennis, hiking, jogging and brisk walking are all good examples of aerobic exercise.
3. Anaerobic - Identified by short intensive bursts of physical activity. Think weight lifting, running sprints, body sculpture exercises. Moderate to extreme impact. Anaerobic exercises increase appetite. Also develops large muscles that burn fat.
Here’s an example of calories burned in an hour of activity for a 190 pound person. Calories are in parenthesis.
Playing with kids (431)
Listening to music (90)
Raking the lawn (345)
Mowing the lawn (517)
Playing guitar (259)
TOTAL CALORIES BURNED = 2,718
You could probably add another 1,000 to 1,500 calories burned for physical functions and natural movement. Even if you only did half of the above activities, it's easy to see the combined affect of multiple activities.
Want to know what thousands of weight losers say about their favorite exercise plans? Find out what they told me worked for them and why here.
Find more ways to painlessly add exercise into your day and build fat-gobbling muscle here.
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